Food

Top That: Upgrade Your Toast

It's so much greater than sliced bread: 14 must-try ways to serve up this classic runner staple.

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Maybe to some, the rise of “toast” being served as a meal—much less a trendy one—sounded a bit, well, silly. But as busy runners, we’re happy to jump on the avocado-steered bandwagon. Because we can think of few better (or easier) ways to show off seriously great-tasting and nutritious ingredients than to pile them up on a slice of crispy bread. It can stand on its own as a well-balanced meal or a post-run recovery snack.

Toast has come a long way from it’s jam-slathered breakfast sidekick days. Be it sweet or savory, we think these creative stacks are the best things since, well, you know… Simply blend, mash, or stir together the spread ingredients and slather on a piece of toast. Add the toppings. Voila. Meal in minutes.

Baguette torn into two pieces
Photo: Getty Images

Bread Winners

Any way you slice it, these healthier options are totally toast-worthy.

Whole Wheat

Compared to more heavily refined white bread, this loaf is denser in fiber and micronutrients. Just be sure to look for 100% whole-grain options (wholegrain flour listed as the first ingredient).

Sprouted

These loaves are baked using germinated (sprouted) whole grains which adds flavor and may make it easier to digest.

Sourdough

An old-world baking method that uses a bacteria-rich starter to kickstart fermentation—a process that enhances flavor, reduces gluten levels, and lowers post-toast blood sugar spikes. Bag a loaf from a local baker for the authentic stuff.

Rye

A favorite among Scandinavians, hearty rye can have up to 5 grams of fiber in a slice. Hunt down options listing whole rye flour/meal as the first ingredient.

Gluten-Free

Brands are increasingly making healthier options by using nutritious gluten-free whole-grains including quinoa, buckwheat, brown rice, and teff. Stay clear of loaves made mostly with nutrient poor ingredients including white rice flour, tapioca starch, and potato starch.

Top Your Toast

Tomato Egg toast
Photo: Hannah DeWitt

Tomato Egg

The dynamic carb-protein duo makes this stack a great post-workout recovery meal. Bonus: sun-parched tomatoes are a source of the anti-cancer antioxidant lycopene.

Spread: 1 tbs olive oil, ¼ c sour cream, ¼ c sun-dried tomatoes, ½ c roasted red pepper, 2 tsp red wine vinegar, ½ tsp paprika, ¼ tsp salt

Topping: 1 sliced hard-boiled egg, 1 tbs chopped dill, 1 tsp capers

Toast with Salmon
Photo: Hannah DeWitt

Go Fish

Salmon lets you reel in the omega-3 fats that may help soothe achy muscles.

Spread: 2 tbs cream cheese, 1 tbs chopped dill, 1 tbs prepared horseradish, 1 tsp lemon zest

Topping: ½ c arugula, 1/3 c sliced cucumber, 2 oz smoked salmon

Toast with Beets
Photo: Hannah DeWitt

Beet It

Beets contain nitrates that may boost your runs by improving blood flow. Labneh is an ultra-strained, Middle Eastern yogurt “cheese” that supplies bone-strengthening calcium and protein.

Spread: ¼ c labneh, ½ tsp za’atar spice mix

Topping: 1 cooked chopped beet, 2 tbs pistachios, 1 tsp balsamic glaze, 2 tbs parsley

Toast with Raspberries
Photo: Hannah DeWitt

Cheesy Granola

Taking granola out of the bowl, this toast will kick-off your day with a good balance of protein, fat, and carbs.

Spread: 1/3 c cottage cheese, 1 tsp orange zest, ½ tsp vanilla extract

Topping: 1/3 c granola, ¼ c raspberries, 2 tbs chopped walnuts

Toast with Figs
Photo: Hannah DeWitt

Give a Fig

The extra hit of salt here will help you bounce back after a hard, sweaty run.

Spread: 2 tbs fig preserves, 1 tsp grainy Dijon mustard, 1 tsp lemon zest

Topping: ½ oz sliced prosciutto, 1/3 c sliced cornichons, 2 tbs sliced basil

Toast with Refried Beans
Photo: Hannah DeWitt

Bean Good

Refried beans offer up plant-based protein and fiber to help maintain healthy digestion.

Spread: 1/3 c fat-free refried beans, 1 tbs minced jalapeño, 2 tsp lime juice

Topping: ½ sliced avocado, 1/3 c halved cherry tomatoes, ¼ c crumbled feta cheese

Toast with Pork
Photo: Hannah DeWitt

Pesto Porkis

A dinner-worthy toast that delivers muscle-building protein and an antioxidant pesto punch.

Spread: 2 tbs pesto

Topping: 2 oz sliced cooked pork tenderloin, 2 tbs chopped kalamata olives, 2 tbs crumbled soft goat cheese

Toast with Harissa and Turkey
Photo: Hannah DeWitt

Out of Africa

The active compound in chili products like harrisa may help rev your metabolism.

Spread: 1/3 c hummus, 2 tsp fresh lemon juice, 1 tsp harrisa paste

Topping: 2 oz sliced cooked turkey, 1 sliced medjool date, 2 tbs sliced mint

Toast with Sardine
Photo: Hannah DeWitt

Something’s Fishy

Sardines are packed with heart-healthy omega-3 fats and bone-benefiting vitamin D.

Spread: ¼ c sour cream, 2 piquillo peppers, 1 tsp lemon zest, ½ tsp fresh thyme

Topping: 1/3 c baby kale, 1 tin sardines, drizzle of olive oil

Toast with Hummus
Photo: Hannah DeWitt

Hummus, Deconstructed

Chickpeas offer up gut-friendly fiber, while tahini is a good source of thiamine to support a healthy metabolism.

Spread: 2 tbs tahini, 2 tsp olive oil, 2 tsp lemon juice, ½ tsp minced garlic

Topping: ½ c mashed chickpeas, 1 tbs golden raisins, 2 tbs chopped parsley

Toast with Guacamole
Photo: Hannah DeWitt

Smoky Guac and Bean

Beans and avocado deliver a payload of hunger-smashing fiber.

Spread: ½ avocado, 2 tsp fresh lime juice, 1 minced garlic clove, 1 tsp minced chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, ¼ tsp salt

Topping: ¼ c black beans, ½ c sliced mango, 2 slices red onion, 2 tbs chopped cilantro, 2 tbs chopped parsley, golden raisins

Toast with Strawberries
Photo: Hannah DeWitt

Strawberry Cheesecake

Indulgent ricotta and sweet berries make this a perfect dessert toast.

Spread: 1/3 c ricotta cheese, ½ c chopped strawberries, 1 tsp honey or maple syrup, 1 tsp orange zest, ½ tsp vanilla extract

Topping: 2 tbs sliced almonds

Toast with Thai Chicken
Photo: Hannah DeWitt

Thai Chicken

The protein in chicken and peanut butter can help worn muscle fibers heal after pounding the pavement.

Spread: 2 tbs smooth peanut butter, 2 tsp soy sauce, 1 tsp rice vinegar, 1 tsp Sriracha, 1 tsp grated or finely minced fresh ginger

Topping: 1/3 c grated carrot, 2 oz sliced cooked chicken, 1 sliced scallion, 2 tbs chopped cilantro

Toast with BlueberriesGreek Freak

Wake-up your breakfast with this healthy combo of protein and healthy fats to help support training.

Spread: 2 tbs almond butter

Topping: 1/3 c Greek yogurt, ¼ c blueberries, 2 tsp cacao nibs